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Associate Editor

Mike's Blog

By Michael Cornnell

About Michael

Michael Cornnell is Associate Editor for Promo Marketing Magazine.

 

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
Promotional Products: If It Ain’t Broke, Leave It Be
Apr 18, 2014

I wrote recently in this space about swag that went wrong for Goldman Sachs at a conference for women in...



Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
A "Condemned" Supplier Shares the Truth!
Apr 17, 2014

There clearly are companies who operate in ways that are contrary to the traditional supplier/distributor model we are comfortable with....



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Speak Now and Sell More!
Apr 15, 2014

How would you like a powerful marketing strategy that can position you as a leader in your field, put you...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
3 Ways to Style an Imprinted Tee
Apr 15, 2014

Imprinted T-shirts are in with the fashion elite. Here's how they are styling the tees....



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Adapting Your Style
Apr 14, 2014

Many of us have taken a behavioral style inventory at some point in our careers. While the intent of these...



Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
The Anatomy of Emotional Marketing
Apr 11, 2014

You've probably heard the old adage: "It's the thought that counts." This could not be any truer, especially in business. When...



Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
Without People, Brands Have No Meaning
Apr 10, 2014

Brands are built over time but can be destroyed in an instant. This is why is it critically important to...



The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
Even Retirees Are Doing It
Apr 9, 2014

Even older clients who grew up with the "one-size-fits-all" adult T-shirt as their world are choosing to buy FASHION TEES....



Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Go Mobile or Go Home
Apr 8, 2014

I am, without a doubt, the most mobile CIO in the USA. Name one other CIO that is so committed...



Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
"Free Crab Tomorrow"
Apr 7, 2014

Joe's Crab Shack offers free crab tomorrow. That's because it's never tomorrow. All we have is today. I've talked to...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
6 Reasons Why Marketing Fails and How to Prevent It
Mar 31, 2014

When it comes to marketing, there are no guarantees. A great marketing idea that is poorly implemented or incorrectly presented...



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Go Green or Go Home
Mar 26, 2014

Earth Day is right around the corner. Need ideas for upcoming promotions? Here are three products that scream "I <3...



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
5 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Land New Business
Feb 26, 2014

LinkedIn is a happening place. It is the unsung hero of social platforms and it can indeed be used to...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
New Year, New Site, New Magazine
Jan 31, 2014

This week, we announced the redesign of our home page and magazine. Let us know what you think about the...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



3 Ways to be Awesome at Decorating

 

Well hello everybody!

I just finished an article for our sister magazine Print + Promo about "consultative selling," a sales philosophy centered around solving clients' core marketing problems rather than just selling product. It's a neat idea I think, and a supposedly helpful tactic in getting your business to compete along lines other than price (helpful if you business is threatened by web stores/suppliers selling direct, since price advantage is more or less their only angle).

There are a lot of facets to the idea of consultative selling, and one I unfortunately didn't get to touch on in my article is the role artwork can play. Larry Mays, CAS, president of Boardwalk Marketing, an apparel contract decorating company located in Erie, Pa., which specializes in special effect screenprinting on apparel, was kind enough to talk to me about this role. He recently taught a class at PPAI Vegas called "How to Become A Consultative Art Sales Person," and had quite a bit of great info to share. I've trimmed down our conversation into my favorite parts, a short list on "3 Ways to be Awesome at Decorating."

1. Show Your Skills
"I believe the key is for sales people to be able to sit down with a brilliantly produced art portfolio and help a client conceive an art idea that will result in a great looking piece of apparel," said Mays. "The key is great art to show the client and a full understanding of the use of color, how an idea might work artistically and how to accomplish a sales or marketing goal through the use of a piece of decorated apparel," he said.

"How much of this consultative approach is needed if all your client wants is their logo on the left chest of their T-shirt? Obviously, not much," he said. "But if that is all your client wants, then don't be surprised when your client demands that you provide the lowest possible price for their shirts, or eliminates you altogether and buys their apparel online. It is the sales reps' job to show a client what is possible and entice the client to purchase something better," he explained. "Decorated apparel is not the same as any other promotional product. The potential for advertising impact is immense—but only if we do the job properly."  

2. Leave the Art for the Artists
"Everyone cannot be a 'genuine artist' capable of producing dynamic art for premium quality decorated apparel," said Mays. "It is no different than stating that everyone cannot be a singer or professional golfer or brain surgeon. To be truly a great 'artist' being an 'artist' is something that is 'who you are—not what you do for a living,'" he said.

"Sales reps and distributors should spend their time selling and nurturing and developing valuable and lasting client relationships. Art is something to be produced by professional artists," explained Mays.  

"Assume you have a client who is hosting a sales conference for their 300 sales reps. The theme is a 'South Seas Island Adventure.' They want a T-shirt that looks like Margaritaville with a parrot and a tiki bar and a margarita and messages on the sand, etc. They want bright, bold colors and they want attendees to wear that shirt 50 times. That can only be done by a creative artist."

3. Study Relevant Art as Much as Possible
"Distributors should devour art wherever they go, with the specific goal of not of becoming an 'artist,' but instead with the goal of becoming a 'consultative sales rep,'" said Mays. "I tell seminar attendees they should spend as much time as they can going to every retail store in malls that sell apparel that features art. Retail trends drive consumer interest," he explained. "I would also suggest looking in gift shops when on vacation-like Disney World or a beach resort. The more art that goes into your head the more likely you are, as a sales rep, to offer a good idea to a client. And then, provide clear instructions to the artist you work with to produce exactly what the client wants for their project," he said.

That's it for this week guys! Thanks for reading, and see you all next week!

Like my blog? Why not follow PM on Twitter or Facebook (or just me on RSS or LinkedIn) so you never miss a post? Thanks!

MONDAY MIKE FACT: Last week a reader asked to see a picture of me with my long, hippie-dippie hair. Far be it from me to disappoint, so here you go!


(Our office dress code is very strict on the "everyone has to wear a cape" point.)

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